Love Thy Wardrobe: Seven Super Simple Steps To Sorting Out Your Clothes Storage
The Debrief: Because the daily fight with your wardrobe is not cool
I hate my wardrobe. Every morning I glare, swear and tear at it, shoving stuff back in like a game of whack a mole. It’s the same every January, after a year of my sloppiness, extra buying without proper clearing out, heightened by the feeling that I’ve only got old stuff and no money to buy all the new shiny on trend stuff I want from Zara.
The dream would be a walk in wardrobe with polaroids stuck on the outside of shoe boxes, which we all know ain’t gonna happen (plus none of my shoes are portrait worthy) but there is a halfway house option that is actually attainable. If you put one weekend’s worth of effort (yeah, really) into sorting yours out, and a few quid on easy DIY storage ideas, I promise you will feel better before work, before a night out, before bed.... basically before everything that involves clothes. Huzzah. If you don't believe me, then you should believe Suzanne Bernie, founder and head stylist of coathanger.net, who is an expert at wardrobe detoxing.
Here are our tips:
1/ First, You HAVE To Throw Some Stuff Out
I don’t know a single person who doesn’t own stuff they don’t wear. Sequinned hotpants? Denim skirt that fitted you five years ago but only goes over one thigh now? I promise you, despite how much you love the idea of this stuff, or how you think you’re going to wear it again, it’s not worth keeping. It’s making you miserable every morning when you can’t find actual wearable things. ‘You only wear what you can see and easily grab, leaving the rest of your collection unworn, which is such a waste of money,’ says Suzanne.
Getting rid is the obvious first step – you need to strip away the excess stuff you don’t need before you’ve got any chance of introducing a system that works. 'The 'one day it will come back into fashion' line isn't actually true,’ says Suzanne. ‘Brands aren’t stupid and you can guarantee even if a similar look comes back at a later date, the items you’re holding on to will not quite cut it, it will be a little to wide/narrow, short or long...’ So be ruthless. If you haven’t worn it in the last six months then put it in a bin liner to drop off at your local charity shop, or flog on eBay.
2/ Use The Space Around Your Wardrobe
If you’re a kleptomaniac then it’s probably unlikely that no matter how much stuff you throw out, one wardrobe isn’t going to satisfy your needs. This is where you need to get creative with the rest of your space. Wall hooks are your friend (possibly not your landlord’s, so check it out with them first) and can actually help you decorate your room when you’re not allowed to make major changes. Try a line of hooks to hold up your handbags, or a chimney breast peppered with nails to hold up hats and scarves. Want to get really imaginative? Nail a coloured cord from one corner of the ceiling to the other and hang your accessories off that without losing any floor or wall space.
3/ Put An Extra Rail On Show
Start looking critically at the dead space in your room – empty corners? Fit a corner rail. Weird sloping ceiling? Put a rail underneath it with storage boxes beneath. You can even fit one to hang over your bed above the headboard, which is always dead space.
4/ Hang Stuff On The Inside Of Your Doors
If you’re not keen on having your stuff on show, then make sure you’re using every inch of your wardrobe. Hammer in some nails to the inside of your wardrobe doors, or buy a hanging storage accessory and use to hold lightweight accessories. If you’ve only got one rail in your wardrobe but you don’t wear much long stuff, buy another rail from Ikea and whack it in halfway down to give you double the drop. ‘The bottoms of wardrobes are often dusty making clothes dusty and encouraging moths,’ says Suzanne. Much better to use the space for plastic boxes that will protect whatever you put in them. ‘Muji has great perspex boxes for smaller items such as jewellery or make up – boxes with see-through lids are brilliant because they cause less disruption.’
5/ Get Boot Clip Hangers
Long boots are so annoying, they don’t easily fit in shoe baskets and they flop over and take up extra lolling space. Get some hangers for your boots - they’re like skirt hangers but smaller – and hang on a rail instead, leaving your under rail storage for compact shoes. ‘The best way to store your shoes is to use structured, canvas, shoe box shaped storage boxes with see through ends,’ explains Suzanne. ‘The ends open with velcro so you can access all your shoes properly,’ says Suzanne.
6/ Buy An Accessories Tree
Thought a hatstand was just for hats? Come oooon, think bigger. Hang all your accessories on a hatstand in an unused corner. Use cool tote bags to divide up your stuff - clutch bags in one, gloves in another… you get the picture. ‘Ikea have a great selection of canvas boxes perfect for rolling up belts and storing them,’ adds Suzanne.
7/ Buy Boxes For Under Your Bed
Commonly mistaken for a storage space for condom wrappers and half-empty bottles of fake tan, this space can actually give your wardrobe some room to breathe. Buy some under-bed storage boxes for shoes or unseasonal items – either your super-summery stuff or massive thick jumpers you don’t need once it warms up.
Still stuck? Check out our Pinterest of savvy wardrobe saving ideas here:
And if you're still not sure you can go it alone? Email Suzanne and get an introductory offer on her wardrobe detox when you mention The Debrief.
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